Download the PDF Version of the Call for Proposals | Submit a Proposal by March 31, 2023

The annual Conference on Engaged Learning showcases cutting-edge research on engaged learning. Each annual conference features multi-institutional research from a specific Center for Engaged Learning research seminar, invites research updates from past seminar participants and conference presenters, and encourages contributions from other scholars and practitioners studying engaged learning practices.

We invite scholars interested in engaged learning topics (particularly the themes listed below) to join the culminating conversations of the 2020-2023 Research Seminar on (Re)Examining Conditions for Meaningful Learning at the 2023 Conference on Engaged Learning at Elon University, June 25-26, 2023. We especially encourage proposals that attend to diversity, inclusion, and equity within or across these engaged learning practices.

We anticipate hosting the conference in-person on Elon’s campus but will regularly assess whether a move to a hybrid or fully online format is merited. We will post updates on the conference website.


For the 2023 conference, we invite proposals related to one of the following themes:

  • Key Practices/Conditions for Fostering Engaged Learning,
  • Engaging Student Voice in Engaged Learning Study and Practice,
  • Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity in Engaged Learning,
  • Trust in Engaged Learning Study and Practice,
  • Previous Center for Engaged Learning Research Seminar and Conference Topics (see below), and
  • Cross-Cutting Questions about Engaged Learning.

While one theme invites a central focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), all proposals should address how the research or practices shared attend to DEI.

Key Practices/Conditions for Fostering Engaged Learning

Work by the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U), the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA), their affiliated scholars (e.g., Kuh, O’Donnell, Finley, Gonyea, Kinzie, etc.), and other researchers has focused higher education’s attention on “high-impact” educational practices (HIPs) that correlate with persistence, graduation rates, and potentially, academic achievement. Over the past decade, both institutional and multi-institutional research has examined additional outcomes of HIPs, including behavioral and attitudinal outcomes, critical thinking, civic engagement, intellectual curiosity, and improved communication strategies. Given these potential outcomes, institutions increasingly are exploring how to scale-up access to HIPs to more – and more diverse – students.

With the 2020-2022 Center for Engaged Learning Research Seminar, the Center flipped the focus from outcomes of to conditions for meaningful learning. HIPs are one category of meaningful learning experiences; how do we make learning experiences meaningful for all students? To explore this question, accepted participants focused on the conditions that facilitate high-impact educational practices and other meaningful learning experiences.

While scholars could draw from any number of lists that describe what makes a learning experience high-impact, the 2020-2023 Research Seminar and the 2023 Conference on Engaged Learning focus on conditions consistently identified as key characteristics for meaningful learning by researchers across the Center’s previous research seminars. Those conditions are:

  • Meaningful relationships, including substantive interaction with faculty/staff mentors and peers, and development of diverse networks;
  • Connections to broader contexts, including practice in real-world applications of students’ developing knowledge and skills;
  • Frequent feedback on both work-in-progress and final products;
  • Opportunities for reflection; and
  • Integration and transfer of prior learning and experiences (Moore 2021; Moore, forthcoming).

In the research seminar’s exploration of these topics, student voices have been central to our teams’ inquiry. Continuing that practice is a priority in the conference presentations.

We also acknowledge that each of these conditions has a rich body of existing scholarship; we invite proposals that deepen our knowledge of these key practices in support of students’ engaged learning and that offer strategies for putting that research into practice across varied institutional contexts.

Engaging Student Voice in Engaged Learning Study and Practice

As illustrated in a growing body of partnership scholarship (e.g., Mercer-Mapstone and Abbot 2020; Cook-Sather, Bahti, and Ntem 2019; theInternational Journal for Students as Partners, etc.), both the study and practice of engaged learning are stronger when pursued in partnership with students. We invite proposals that share systematic inquiry about engaging in partnership to design, implement, or study engaged learning:

  • How do partnership projects enhance engaged learning practices and outcomes?
  • How does partnership enhance the scholarship of teaching and learning?
  • What key characteristics or strategies contribute to more successful partnerships in engaged learning co-creation or co-inquiry?

We especially welcome proposals that extend partnership to the presentation of their research, including student voices in the proposal and planned session.

Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity in Engaged Learning

Diversity, inclusion, and equity must be central to the design, implementation, and study of engaged learning to counter decades of disparity for Historically Underrepresented Minority Students (HURMS) – and for Historically Excluded Minority Students (Longmire-Avital). While all proposals should address how the research or practices shared attend to diversity, inclusion, and equity (Oh my!), this theme showcases research that centers these concepts as the primary focus of engaged learning research. What curricular or cocurricular design practices lead to more equitable engaged learning? What strategies or characteristics contribute to more equitable implementation of engaged learning practices? What are the outcomes of engaged learning practices explicitly designed to center diversity, inclusion, and equity?

Trust in Engaged Learning and Practice

During the 2020-2023 research seminar, trust emerged as a recurring theme across studies of specific conditions for meaningful learning. Trust is central to relationships, (reciprocal) trust is necessary when developing feedback cultures, trust can foster reflective practices, and trust can be a key component in external partnerships that facilitate students’ connections to broader contexts. Trust also is paramount to multi-institutional scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) collaborations and to embracing student voices in partnership. We invite presentations that engage with this emerging theme.

Previous Center for Engaged Learning Research Seminar and Conference Topics

We also invite scholars and practitioners studying the following engaged learning topics to submit proposals that extend our previous conference conversations on:

  • Capstone or Culminating Experiences
  • Global Learning, Study Abroad, and Off-Campus Domestic Study
  • Mentored Undergraduate Research
  • Residential/Living Learning Communities
  • Transfer of Writing Knowledge and Practices
  • Writing Beyond the University

Cross-Cutting Questions about Engaged Learning

In addition, we invite proposals that share research on cross-cutting questions about engaged learning, including but not limited to:

  • Scaling up access to engaged learning experiences
  • Attending to quality in design and implementation of high-impact practices
  • Supporting students’ integration of learning across multiple high-impact practices for engaged learning

Proposal Guidelines

To submit a proposal, provide the following information through the online submission form
by March 31, 2023:

  • Name, professional title, and contact information for all participants
  • Presentation title
  • Abstract identifying the focus of your research, its significance in relation to the extant literature, and its connection to one of the conference themes
    • Maximum word count for poster, Ignite, and individual presentation proposals: 300 words.
    • Maximum word count for panel presentations and workshop proposals: 500 words.

Presentation types

  • Poster Presentation
    Posters offer visual conversation starters about completed research or work-in-progress. (Presented during a 60-minute poster session & reception)
  • Ignite Presentation
    Ignite presentations use 20 slides that automatically advance every 15 seconds, resulting in a 5-minute presentation. Ignite presentations are an ideal way to share work-in-progress to spark conversation or to share research-informed practices to foster engaged learning. Ignite presentations will be combined during a 60-minute session, with time for Q & A for all speakers at the end of the session.
    (5 minutes per presentation, plus Q & A during a 60-minute session)
  • Individual Presentation
    Short, interactive presentations by one or two speakers, sharing and discussing research.
    (30 minutes total, with at least 10 minutes for discussion and Q & A; 2 individual presentations will be grouped for a 60-minute time slot)
  • Panel Presentation
    Longer, interactive group presentations by three or more speakers, sharing and discussing related research projects/findings.
    (60 minutes total, with at least 10-15 minutes for discussion included in the 60 minutes)
  • Pre-Conference Workshop
    Extended workshops by three or more facilitators, sharing strategies for implementing evidence-/research-informed practices. Pre-conference workshops should be highly interactive. Proposals should indicate what learning outcomes the workshop will support and how facilitators will engage participants in interactive activities throughout the extended time.
    (3 hours total, with a 15-minute break)
  • Concurrent Session Workshop
    Workshops by three or more facilitators, sharing strategies for implementing evidence-/research-informed practices. Proposals should indicate what learning outcomes the workshop will support and how facilitators will engage participants in interactive activities. (60 minutes)

Submit a proposal | Proposals are due by March 31, 2023.

Following a double-blind peer review, we will send decision notifications by April 17, 2023.